The Department of Nuclear Medicine offers state of art advanced imaging for neurological patients. The new SPECT/CT and PET/CT scanners provide superior imaging quality, advanced multimodality image co-registration with CT and MRI and quantitative analysis resulting in superior diagnostic accuracy. The study is interpreted by board certified physicians specialized in nuclear medicine and neurology.
The routinely performed studies include:
- CSF flow study (Cisternography) for hydrocephalus, symptomatic subarachnoid cysts and central nervous system shunting tube patency. It is also used for suspected CSF leak. These studies are traditionally performed in conjunction with ENT service placement of nasal pledgets to increase sensitivity, which is often inconvenient and uncomfortable to patients. With the new SPECT/CT camera, the study can be done without patient discomfort as the intranasal pledgets are not required.
- FDG PET imaging is useful for patients with many different neurological disorders. In neuro-oncology, FDG PET scanning is performed to differentiate radiation necrosis from tumor recurrence. In our department, the PET images are routinely fused with the MRI images using fusion software, which has significantly increased sensitivity and specificity of PET imaging. In conjunction with MRI and EEG monitoring, FDG PET is performed for pre-surgical seizure localization.
- Cerebral Perfusion SPECT study is performed on the advanced SPECT/CT camera. Ictal/Interictal SPECT is used to localize the actual seizure focus for epilepsy surgery. The images are quantitatively analyzed using special computer software and fused with the anatomically detailed MRI images for accurate seizure localization (SISCOM). The Diamox cerebral SPECT is used to assess cerebral vascular reserve of the arterial blood supply, which helps physicians determine the need for cerebral revascularization.
- Alzheimer’s and other Degenerative Diseases; By detecting the characteristic patterns of regional decreased glucose metabolism and perfusion, FDG PET and Brain ECD SPECT scans appear to be the best imaging tools for providing the differential diagnosis for specific dementia syndromes, such as Alzheimer’s and frontal temporal dementia.
Pediatric Nuclear Imaging
Pediatric patients constitute a special population in the Nuclear Medicine Department. Since nuclear medicine imaging has longer acquisition time, patient cooperation poses a big challenge for the technologist. In addition to the studies listed for adult patients, we provide common pediatric tests like: pediatric renal scan for obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux study, nuclear cystogram, lung perfusion scan for congenital heart and lung disease, brain perfusion scan for epilepsy and MIBG scan for neuroblastoma.
We have created a child friendly environment with onsite video equipment and other amenities. We provide specialized onsite pediatric nursing care and anesthesia service for patient who need sedation. We have Child Life Specialist available assisting the patients. Certified nuclear pharmacist provide accurate tracer dosing to minimize radiation exposure to pediatric patients.